I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like I am a shit mother. I hate that my 10 month old can reduce me to tears. I hate that something as mundane as him hurling a yogurt into the air and refusing to eat his lunch, flips a switch in my brain and sends me over the edge.
Why can’t I understand what he is telling me? What am I doing wrong?
I take him out of the high chair, sick of the daily food battle. I put him in his playpen where he’s safe and surrounded by toys. I run upstairs, the tears welling up inside, filling up my vision to a blurry haze.
Stay inside. I’m not crying today. I’m not going to do this again.
But I lose.
Like I always do.
I run into the bedroom and flop onto the bed and wail into the pillow.
A pathetic creature.
Of course, it’s not the yogurt-hurling I’m angry at. It’s not my baby boy I’m angry at or the fact that he won’t eat his lunch. It’s not that he’s fought all his daytime naps this week and I’ve had very little breaks away from him. It’s not that he has tried to stick his fingers in every plug socket and immediately crawls to what is most dangerous in the house. It’s not even that he has hysterics getting into the car seat making every journey a test in patience. I realise all of those things are part of being a mum to an active 10 month old and I realise that’s the path I’ve chosen as a SAHM.
No, what I’m annoyed at is myself. I’m upset that I’m not more of a natural mother. I’m sad that I can’t seem to do anything right. I’m disappointed that I’m not better able to cope when he screams and roars or has mini meltdowns over the mundane everyday things as every small child does. I’m sad that I seem to start out on Monday full of hope that this week will be different, yet by Thursday, I’m about ready to trade in my SAHM card for a one-way ticket to my old life before kids.
I’m upset that most other mums seem to breeze through it or when I’m told motherhood is ‘not that hard,’ I feel even more diminished inside. I marvel at these other mums who have more than one child to contend with, when I can’t seem to cope with one gorgeous baby boy. And he is gorgeous. My God is he gorgeous and I can’t quantify my love for him, but that said, sometimes I feel like this life-changing love is not enough. Clearly I’m doing something wrong if some days I feel like screaming into a pillow? It must mean I’m failing as a mother right? Those secret tears I shed away from my baby and husband must mean I’m just not mum material?
I may not be the world’s best mother. I may not be an expert on kids. I may not know my Peppa Pig from my Paw Patrol yet, but if I have learned one thing, since becoming a mum last December, it is this.
Being a mum is hard.
Yes, some mums seem to cope with the tough parts a little better than others. Yes some seem to be able to keep their heads in the middle of the madness and yes not every single day of motherhood will be hard or even make you cry.
But becoming a mother is life-changing and it is hard.
We all have hard days or tough phases on our mum journey. Anyone who says otherwise is having you on. What I’ve learned is that talking about the tough days and writing about them, is a good thing. It’s not something any of us do for a ‘pat on the back’, or to be told ‘sure aren’t you great.’ We do it to make a connection, to reach out to other mums, to know you’re not the only one who might have hid in the cupboard this week to get away from the kids for 10 minutes. To know it’s okay to feel like you’re losing your shit. To know that the perfect mum doesn’t exist.
To know that you are enough. You are trying your best every day and you are doing a good job.